How will digital transformation impact jobs & recruitment?
It's been quite a year so far. The digital world is moving faster than ever and COVID-19 has increased the pace of digital transformation at a speed no one would have believed possible even a year ago.
"15% of retailers are hiring [roles specifically to help them expand their ecommerce operations] to meet online demand as COVID-19 drives “technological revolution” in retail" (Charged Retail/Barclays Corporate Banking - Sept 2020)
Tech Nation also reported in September 2020 that "Britain’s technology industry is helping to cushion the jobs market from the worst effects of the pandemic, with vacancies in the sector rising by more than a third during the summer." (The Times)
Whilst bricks & mortar retail has experienced significant hardship, ecommerce has had its heavyweight belt on and enabled remarkable business growth, as well as digital transformation. So how can you keep up with digital trends whilst adapting your recruitment strategy and promoting digital career paths?
The digital age is upon us. For any business to be successfull it will need plans in place to move quickly, yet strategically, to work within this upgraded digital space (rather than against it). Here are a few top tips;
1. Ensure you have the best people in place & lead from the front - Your people are the heart of your business. Only by hiring the best, empowering them and looking after them well, will you be able to compete in the current environment. Happy, respected and valued employees will always do a better job for you!
2. 'Think like Tesla' to optimise your operations - If you were starting your business right now, how would you do things differently? Remove obsticles, get creative, think like a start-up. You'll be surprised where this thinking style could lead you and what opportunities you might open up.
3. Be consumer centric - Do you [still] undersand your shopper/customer? Have they changed? What do they want now and are you providing it? What more can you do engage them? Provide fulfillment options which fill a gap - whether it's keeping them safe, nurturing their desires, optimising their online environment or reprioritising their interactions with your business AND make it count.
4. Ensure your social and digital channels are on point - Social restrictions have led to exciting upgrades in digital tools - so much so that they're less tools and more 'experience generators'. Give your consumer the best customer service they've ever experienced, delight them, influence them and keep them.
5. Be part of the conversation - Ensure your brand or business has the customer at the centre of everyting you do. Be relevant and stay relevant.
6. Be ahead of the curve & remove customer barriers and risk - Think UX, contactless and online safety amongst others.
With the rise of AI and other innovations in tech, how we work and how we recruit will change. As many industries have made strides towards digital transformation over the years, the current pandemic has forced our hands and heightened our need for full scale transformation. Companies are now shifting their focus to digital and there's no doubt many companies will have a lot to do in order to stay relevant (both from a product and a service perspective) and operate efficiently. Having the best workforce in place will be vital.
In 2019 the OECD reported that "40% of jobs created in the past ten years have been in the digital-intensive sector" which is food for thought given the current disruption we are facing!
According to the World Economic Forum, the most in-demand roles "did not exist 10 or even 5 years go and the pace of change is set to accelerate."
Click image to find out more about the current most in-demand digital marketing & ecommerce roles;
1. Anticipate & Prepare - it will be essential you have employees with solid digital skills - think about what exists within your organisation already and what you will require in the future. Ask yourself whether you need 'new blood' to bring expertise into the organisation or whether you can invest in, and upskill, your current workforce by training from within. This will help form your long-term people strategy.
2. Empower people with a mix of skills to succeed in a digital world - employees will not only need digital skills but emotional intelligence, adaptability and motivation if they are to find success. The digital & online world is diverse!
3. Promote training and learning opportunities - address and remove any barriers to training for both digitally skilled and unskilled workers. Invest in career guidance, identifying skill gaps, improving learning opportunities and identifying the leaders of tomorrow.
4. Identify specialist external partners that can help direct the change - partnering with digital marketing talent acquisition specalists can help you build and develop your teams based on expertise in the marketplace. They will understand the landscape, the roles within it and how to structure the best digital/ecommerce team possible. Use their knowledge to enable your organisation to be at the forefront of identifying and hiring the best talent in the market.
5. Be ready to take your recruitment online - given social distancing restrictions (and the fact that offices are somewhat out of fashion at present) you'll need to make sure you can carry out your hiring process virtually. Many people seem to think that moving to this format is going to make things harder, when in reality not much really changes... other than the absence of the first stage interviews taking place on site. Read our top tips on How to hire remotely
Coverage of this Blog can also be found in;
The HR Director - 14.09.2020; Digital transformation: Facilitating a skilled digital workforce
Recruitment News UK – 01.09.20; Digital transformation: facilitating a skilled digital workforce within your business
Silicon Republic – 21.08.20; 7 things we’ve learned about navigating work during Covid-19
Image - Getty Images
Original Post Aug 2020
Updated Sept 2020
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